Enjoying a Flat Stretch of Water
It's that time of year--the weather, the flora and fauna, and all of us are starting to lean hard towards summer. Here in the office at Camp Amnicon, I'm watching a chilly spring wind whip last year's leaves around the yard while I take reservations for this summer's exciting adventures. On the wall of the back office is a giant master calendar, with each trip color-coded and each week of our summer season laid out in a grid--and it's starting to fill up! Our summer will consist of canoe trips of every type, from lake trips in the Sylvania wilderness of upper Michigan to adventure on the high seas of Lake Superior in the Apostle Islands, to a lot of relaxed paddling on the beautiful Namekagon river. The guides we just hired are equally likely to lead a trip of rural girls in foster care as a group of suburban lutherans. In fact, of the 23 trips on our summer calendar, 13--that's more than half!-- come from some kind of an at-risk background. We're hosting trips from inner-city churches and neighbhorhood organizations, from Cass Lake reservation, and from foster care agencies. We're working with first-generation college-bound students and immigrant communities. And almost half of our trips will need some kind of financial help to make their camp experience a reality.
When groups come for an Amnicon adventure, they’re equipped with everything they need for a week of camping, and two caring, competent, and well-trained guides. Campers engage their minds and spirits through a Bible study or secular theme study; they unplug from cell phones and plug into community; they are challenged and changed as they paddle downstream, cook over an open fire, and learn how to live the simple life. As a guide for three years, I’ve seen incredible things happen on trail; young people open up to each other, glow with pride as they accomplish things they never thought they could, dig deep and find strength in themselves, in their community, and in their faith.
A young person from the projects in Chicago once told us that he had thought summer camp was just on tv, not a real possibility. At least not for someone like him. At Camp Amnicon we take this personally. It is our mission to share the wonder of God’s creation, of caring community, and of self-empowerment with young people from all backgrounds, not just those who can afford it. In almost 50 years of history, Camp Amnicon has never turned away a single camper because they can't afford our price--and we don't plan to! Funds are tight this year, and to make these powerful experiences possible, we need your support. Just $400 can provide a campership for a young person who needs what Amnicon has to offer.
A Quiet Moment
A Camper and Guide